Not everything that happens on Valentine’s Day is all flowers, romance and chocolates… sometimes there are tragedies and crimes committed, a crime of passion you might say.
Even the origins of Valentine’s Day isn’t as sweet as you may think it was: one legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. The Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, as he thought they made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so Valentine wed the young soldiers and their partners in secret. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine beheaded.
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Probably the most famous crime committed on Valentine’s Day. This took place in 1929 in Chicago, where two gangs were battling for control of the balck market for bootlegging.
The two gangs were led by George “Bugs” Moran and Al “Scarface” Capone.
At 10:30 AM, on February 14th, 1929, two men dressed as police officers and two men in suits entered the hideout of Moran, they found members of Moran’s gang, lined them up against the wall and opened fire on them with tommy guns. Moran escaped death by sleeping in and wasn’t at the garage at the time.
This Massacre proved to be the downfall for both gangs, no-one wanted to join Moran’s gang and Capone was arrested for tax evasion.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
A more modern day Valentine’s Day murder now.
On 14th February, 2013, the world was shocked at the news that South African Paralympic Champion, Oscar Pistorius was accused of murdering his 29 year old girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. She was shot dead through the bathroom door in the home they shared.
Pistorius claimed that the shot he fired through the bathroom door was in self defence as he thought there was an intruder on the premises.
It was revealed that Steenkamp had sent text messages to her friends in the past fearing for her life, as she thought that Pistorius was dangerous.
Pistorius was found guilty and was eventually sentenced to a prison sentence of 13 years and five months.
The Mysterious Death of Antonio Saldivar
At approximately 6.00 PM on February 14th, 2014, 17 year old Houston teenager Antonio Saldivar borrowed his mother’s car to visit his girlfriend. He was going to deliver a teddy bear as a Valentine’s gift to her. When he was gone a long time, his mother tried to contact him unsuccessfully, but at 4.00 AM he finally answered his phone and said he was on his way home.
But he then, a short time later, crashed the car into a concrete pillar, Antonio was nowhere to be seen.
On February 27th, Antonio’s body was discovered trapped beneath a dock inside the Houston Ship Canel. It was thought that Antonio became disorientated after the crash, wandered away from the scene and then drowned.
But there were some things that didn’t add up: he never went to see his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, the teddy bear he was going to give her was found inside his pants, between his legs. His shoes were found on the floor of the car below the passenger’s seat. His body was found inside a secure area which was inaccessible to the search volunteers who had been looking for his body, so how did his body end up there?
His family are still searching for answers about his death.
Dr John Hamilton was an obstetrician-gynacologist from Oklahoma City, USA.
To their friends, he appeared to be the doting husband, lavishing his wife of 14 years, Susan, with gifts and luxury holidays, but his Valentine’s Day gift in 2001 wasn’t one of love, it was the ultimate in hatred. He strangled Susan and then bludgeoned her to death, leaving her in a pool of blood while he dialed 911 in tears, saying that he had just found her dead.
When police looked at their Valentine Day cards, they noticed that Susan had written something strange in hers: “I bought this two weeks ago, so I guess maybe it doesn’t seem appropriate. But i do love you. Have a good day. Susan.” On further investigation it was found that John Hamilton was having an affair and Susan was considering a divorce.
He was charged with murdering Susan after splatters of her blood were found on the steering wheel of his car and on the cuff of his shirt.
He still maintains his innocence and keeps appealing the conviction.
So there you go, if you think your Valentine’s Day isn’t going so well, spare a thought for some of these people!